How long can you keep lying to yourself, Remus?
I ask myself this question over and over as I toss and turn in bed. He isn't here with me. He hasn't been for the past six months, and I wasn't just meaning the physical sense. Even when he was around, his mind wandered and his gaze was empty.
The lovemaking was mechanical. The caresses were just obligatory. He had grown so distant.
And yet, I continue to press on like nothing was wrong. I still greet him with a smile when he comes home from the pub or the gentlemen's club, smelling horribly like firewhiskey and women's stale perfume. He'll stumble into the room, sometimes vomiting, sometimes trembling from whatever he's taken that night, and I'll take care of him until he passes out.
But even so, I still tell everyone how happy we were, I have convinced Lily and James that nothing is wrong. But in doing all of this, I'm really just trying to convince myself.
I think he loves me, but certainly not in the way he once did, that much is clear. Whether he stays because he feels like he has to or because he has nowhere else to go, it doesn't matter. But I tell all of our friends that nothing could be better, than I could never find a better man than the one I have.
I hear the door swing open and I shut my eyes tight, deepening my breaths so I seem asleep. I can smell cigarette smoke on him from here. I can hear him shrug out of his jacket, unzip his jeans, and crawl into bed beside me, absently pulling me close. I can feel the erection in his boxers, undoubtedly from the women that were crawling all over him while he was out. I just keep my breathing steady, I don't move. He figures I'm sleeping and falls into drunken snores quickly.
It wasn't always this way. He used to be independent, and I used to be strong. We were an invincible team, us against the world. But I suppose fighting a losing war against Voldemort, watching our friends and colleagues fall in battle, it would be a strain on anyone's relationship.
He still needs me around, though, so I don't leave. Sometimes, it gets to be too much for him. I can see it in his grey eyes. Ever since his brother died, they've been empty, hollow. So, I stay. I hold him when he needs to cry. I oblige him with false sounds of passion when he needs to relieve his tension. He needs me, so I won't leave him. I do still love him.
And besides, who but Sirius Black would love a werewolf?
Author's Note: This is the shortest one I've ever written, but it just popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone. The inspiration came from Pearl Jam's "Better Man", though I hate songfics with a passion, so if you want to read the lyrics you can go find them yourself. Hope you liked it!